"Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."
--- Albert Einstein
Have you ever actually felt exhausted after working on a project that required a lot of thought? I'm not talking about physical exhaustion, but being brain tired as opposed to bone tired. Most of us can probably recall working on an exhausting school project or algebraic equation for a period of time and then needed a decent rest period to recover. This is one of the byproducts of thinking. It is not one of the positive ones, but there are plenty of those to be found.
For example, true, hard-nosed thinking produces new ways of closing a sale, creative installation practices, new hiring procedures, new business logo, better investment choices, key marketing materials, and so many more. The list is truly endless.
"Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will."
--- Zig Ziglar
Many business leaders set aside time to do nothing but think. It may be in the morning that is a better time for some folks, while late in the evening works for others. It is usually during a quiet period so that the issue, challenge, or problem can be focused on and solutions can be found. The one common theme for these intentional thinkers is that they remain positive. They force the negative emotions out in order to think only on positive outcomes.
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
--- George S. Patton
Getting those in your organization and team to think can be quite a challenge. Some may think they weren't hired for their brains, but their brawn. Encouraging team members to spend more time thinking about problems and issues before acting has been shown to actually pay well in future dividends. This encouragement to think actually does two things for you and your company. First, it combines the knowledge and experience of many brains to come up with the necessary solutions. Second, it allows employees to feel the freedom of empowerment and trust, which further increases loyalty and reciprocal trust.
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."
--- Bruce Lee
Caution is advised in giving yourself and others too much thinking time. The goal is to exercise the brain (which has been proven to get stronger the more it is worked), and to take the time to think things through before reacting. There has to be a balance though.
Too much time can spent on thinking without action, can put holes in the productivity of your business. Companies such as 3M, Google, Facebook, Zappos, and more give their employees allotted thinking time. After that, it is back to work.
"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it."
--- Henry Ford
This month map out a thinking plan for your business. Begin with you setting aside just 15 minutes a day to think. It will be difficult at first. Distractions will get in the way and your mind will drift, but over time you will get better at it and find that solutions to problems will get easier for you to find. After a month or so, extend thinking time to your team members and let them give it a try.
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